THE FOURTH KIND (Olatunde Osunsanmi, 2009)
Opens Friday, November 6
While the truth might be out there somewhere, it’s not exactly going to be found in this very strange venture. Playing more like IN SEARCH OF . . . A LOST EPISODE OF THE X-FILES, director Olatunde Osunsanmi's THE FOURTH KIND combines actual audio and video taken by psychologist Abbey Tyler in October 2000 with fictional re-creations by actors to try to lend believability to this story of possible repeated alien abduction in Nome, Alaska. Milla Jovovich, who really needs a new agent, stars as Dr. Tyler, whose husband has just been brutally murdered. Dr. Tyler is investigating a series of odd cases in which local men and women are having trouble sleeping, waking up every morning at 3:33, seeing a white owl, and suddenly speaking in Sumerian. Under hypnosis, the patients relive frightening scenes that lead to real-life violence. Osunsanmi (WITHIN) ups the ante – and complicates the narrative – by intercutting actual footage from Tyler’s studies, often playing them on a split-screen against the reenactments to prove how real this must all be. He also includes segments from an interview he conducted with Tyler at Chapman University as she details what happened to her and her family. Will Patton is annoying as the sheriff who thinks Tyler’s study is too dangerous to continue, while the solid Elias Koteas is Tyler’s mentor who refuses to believe no matter how strong the evidence might be. When THE FOURTH KIND tries to just be a horror movie, it’s not wholly awful, but when it strains and strains to assert that these close encounters are real, it borders on the edge of the ridiculous and just plain silly.